Apr 11, 2019
HealthDay – Many cancer patients take alternative meds but don’t tell doctors
One out of every three U.S. cancer patients uses alternative or complementary therapies, but many keep that info from their doctors, a new study finds.
That’s a real concern, the study’s lead author said, especially when it comes to supplements and cancer radiation therapy.
“You don’t know what’s in them,” said Dr. Nina Sanford, assistant professor of radiation oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
“Some of these supplements are kind of a mishmash of different things,” she said. “Unless we know what’s in them, I would recommend patients avoid using them during radiation because there’s likely not data on certain supplements, which could interfere with treatment. With radiation specifically, there is concern that very high levels of antioxidants could make radiation less effective.”
The new study looked at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data on over 3,100 cancer patients. Porn Star, 32, Dead of Breast Cancer; Pic Reveals Likely Cause
Sanford’s team found that herbal supplements were the most common complementary and alternative therapy used by cancer patients, followed by chiropractic.
Other therapies include meditation, yoga and acupuncture.
The study also found that 29 percent of patients who use complementary and alternative therapies did not tell their doctor.
“Younger patients are more likely to use complementary and alternative medicines, and women were more likely to, but I would have thought more people would tell their doctors,” Sanford said in a UT Southwestern news release. This Medical Mistake Is Killing Cancer Patients
Why the secrecy? Many patients said they didn’t inform their doctors because their doctors didn’t ask, or because they thought their doctors didn’t need to know they were using alternative or complementary therapies.
But physicians do need to know if cancer patients are using herbal products because they can alter traditional cancer treatments … Read more.